Over 1,000 ancient cliff paintings discovered in north China

Beijing, Over 1,000 cliff paintings dating back more than 1,000 years and featuring animals and people have been discovered by archaeologists in northern China.

The paintings found in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are believed to have been engraved by the ancient tribal people known as the Tujue, and the Dangxiang, of which the modern day Qiang are descended from, about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

The paintings are surprisingly well preserved, and feature sheep, camels, elks, tigers, wolves and people hunting, the report quoted Liu Bin, head of the Cultural Relics Bureau of Urad Middle Banner, as saying yesterday.

The new findings are among many found across the Yinshan mountain range, and will greatly inform research into ancient nomadic people, he added.

Over 10,000 ancient cliff paintings have been discovered in the Yinshan Mountains.

In 2012, 18 cliff paintings dating back over 4,000 years were discovered in the same area. Among the paintings, seven faces were exaggerated and monstrous, and have been interpreted as the seven stars of the "Big Dipper" constellation.